A Saturday evening gas leak in a propane tank at The Homes at Perry Cabin required emergency crews to burn off the entire contents of the 500-gallon tank.
According to an email to residents sent out by The Homes at Perry Cabin, the serious gas leak behind Building 11 was reported to 911 and Suburban Propane at about 6 p.m. Saturday.
The St. Michaels Fire Department and the St. Michaels Police Department quickly arrived and called in the Maryland Department of the Environment for assistance. The fire department also called for backup from the Tilghman Island Fire Department.
Suburban Propane also responded to the scene.
MDE determined that the tank had been filled to 100% capacity, rather than the standard 80% capacity, creating a serious and potentially dangerous situation.
MDE said 100 gallons of pr0pane would need to be burned off. Caution tape was put up and the area was cordoned off. Police told residents that if they left the area, they could not return to the parking areas closed to the emergency activity.
After the initial burnoff had been completed, crews determined that the existing valve had failed and would need to be replaced, requiring a complete burn-off of the tank’s contents.
A new, slower valve was installed and the burn-off continued until about 6 a.m. Sunday.
In the email, the Homes at Perry Cabin said the tank is empty and open and asked residents to avoid the area along the Miles near the propane tank, noting there “is a strong noxious chemical odor present that may take a few days to dissipate.”
Suburban was returning to further address the situation, according to the email. Suburban checked the fill levels on other tanks and will be out to complete a safety check.
“After 12 plus hours battling the propane tank, our dedicated Fire Department finally left the scene at 6:30 this morning,” the email concluded. “The MDE left at 9:40 AM headed to another call. We as a community are grateful for the quick thinking and professionalism of all our local emergency and state services.
“We are open to ideas to thank our first responders as a community and encourage personal donations to our volunteer St. Michaels Fire Department.”